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Oven Baked Wild Rice
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Traditional family recipes are often “made by heart” and filled with splashes, handfuls and “until it looks right” instructions. This rice dish is no different. To my delight, I was pulled into a 3-way messenger conversation with Kevin, my neighbor and shopper at Outpost, and his Auntie Barb. This rice dish is a standard on their family’s holiday tables but it’s never the same. It’s often made with what’s on hand (pot roast and the gravy work great according to Auntie Barb and she often uses carrots, celery and mushrooms in her versions.) Kevin, on the other hand, has morphed his version into one that works for everyone at the table, even if they don’t eat meat. “The land south of Milwaukee was marshy and not great for living. But it was rich with zhigaagawanzh... wild onions! The settlers adopted the Ojibwe word for the area and tada, Chicago! The literal translation is Skunk Root. I have been told that during the winters, Ojibwe chefs would add dried maple syrup to add flavor. I have never tried this” Kevin explained, “All of the ingredients are indigenous to our area except for the peppers of course”. Auntie Barb was Kevin’s inspiration to add this wild rice dish to his holiday menu, and Auntie Barb was my inspiration to create a version that uses elk, but you could use any ground meat you’d like including venison. So, go ahead and customize to your taste, but just remember the ration of 3 to 1; 3 parts liquid to one part wild rice.
serves 4-6


Vegan Option

  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed well
  • 3 cups hot vegetable broth     
  • 1/3 cup of yellow onion, chopped    
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped    
  • 1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1/3 cup orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • Handful of chopped walnuts 
  • Handful of dried cranberries 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Meat Option

  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed well 
  • 3 cups hot beef broth
  • 1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 4 – 6 ounces chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 pound ground elk or bison
  • ½ stick of butter
  • Handful of chopped walnuts
  • Handful of dried cranberries
  • Salt and pepper to taste
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Oven Baked Wild Rice
  • I'm a dairy free recipe!
  • I'm a gluten-free recipe!
  • I'm a heart healthy recipe!
  • I'm a low sodium recipe!
  • I'm a vegan recipe!
  • I'm a vegetarian recipe!


1. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, add butter until melted then for vegan option, add onions and peppers and sauté until softened. For meat option, add onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms and ground meat, and sauté until vegetables are softened and meat is browned.

2. Stir in rinsed wild rice and sauté for 5 minutes.

3. Add walnuts and cranberries, salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

4. Transfer to a glass or metal pan/casserole dish and add hot broth. Broth should be very hot. Mix well.

4. Cover with foil and bake for a minimum of 90 minutes or until most liquid is absorbed. Note, it may take longer, so be sure to plan ahead.

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